Let’s be real, when most of us are slinging back a flute of champagne (or two, or more…), we aren’t thinking about preserving our long-term memory. Yet a study from University of Reading in the UK, which is making the rounds again, suggests just that — that regular champagne toasts is the key to staving off Alzheimer’s and dementia in your later years. Say what?
Though scientists have been looking at the health effects of alcoholic drinks, especially wine, for years, this particular studied isolated a compound found in pinot noir and meunier, wine grapes that make up parts of pinot noir and champagne. Study participants who drank at one or two glasses of champagne during the week reported having sharper memory, but the details of the study, originally first reported in 2013, are fuzzy: What percentage of participants, in which age bracket, reported having better memory? What did that mean to them? And, what kind of follow-up studies have been planned?
Of course, these questions underline an ongoing conversation around potential “vice foods” like chocolate, coffee, and alcohol — we want to believe that some part of our consumption there could actually be good for us, and as such, we’re more likely to pick up on studies that suggest as much. But healthy skepticism aside, wine alcohols are indeed the most likely “bad habit” to actually have good health benefits — and if champagne’s not your speed, red’s got a great reputation as well.